04 / MAY / 2021 - 13 / JUN / 2021
Pas une Orange presents Vis a siV, the opening exhibition of this new project on view from May 4th until June 13th, 2021 at Calle Trafalgar, 45 Barcelona. A group show of artists from the Madrid scene, with works by Elena Alonso, Inma Herrera, Christian Lagata, Almudena Lobera, Guillermo Mora, Álvaro Negro and An Wei, which reflects on the representation, physical contact and intimate space in these times of soacial distancing, lockdown and mediating screens.
“The vis-à-vis has become the hermeneutical, social and emotional device with which we now relate to the world. The pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we touch, look and move. Talking through the window, greeting each other from a distance, sending affection through digital images, delimiting secure bubbles... a series of new behaviors that build unprecedented forms of life, as Giorgio Agamben would say, and that shape our new way of seeing and feeling in 2021 .
An unprecedented model that rethinks separation and contact, image and reality, and reveals more than ever the interstice, the interval, that entre-deux [between-two] that Emmanuel Levinas speaks of in his philosophy of caress. How to recover the “waiting for that pure future, without content”1 that nests in the transgression of the sensible of which the French philosopher speaks?
We can feel something similar when discovering Guillermo Mora’s work Mitad tú, mitad yo (Francisca), whose title already refers us to those remote times of intermingled bodies and carefree impurities. An intertwined proximity of matter that speaks both about the reality of painting itself and about the sensory and erotic approach to the other. Same thing happens with Elena Alonso's impressive installation Visita Guiada, of which we find a fragment, adapted to the space, in this exhibition. The simple act of touching it - function for which she was made – acquires a surprising/forbidden connotations today.
But what to do then? Contemplate it only?
The act of looking here acquires almost tactile overtones and the image “imposes its presence”, as Jacques Rancière puts it.
A reflection that we find Inma Herrera’s work who investigates the specific processes of graphic printing, delving into the real conditions of manufacture of an image -in our ethereal time- and shifting the traditional format towards a physicality of the visual in relation to the body and object. An echo also present in the transcendent paintings of Álvaro Negro whose formal display refers both to the light in the history of painting and to a modulation of the exhibition space.
The digital image, and the way of interpreting it, is also at the center of Palette ASCII I by Almudena Lobera. Starting from a picture in her computer, the artist proposes a transformation of the virtual into a painting of coded, incomprehensible, fascinatingly abstract forms, a game of languages with which she reflects on reality and its representation. It is no coincidence that Lobera reminds us, in her installation Footnotes, that vis-à-vis “means in Spanish: face to face, the archaic root of the verb to see from the original French being lost in translation” while the work itself raises questions of perception of the place and spatial delimitations.
And it is that, in French, this expression is still used to describe what we see through our window. All those incomplete stories, those stolen scenes that we have discovered during these lockdoen months, those noises and shapes coming from the outside, the Verde Chroma flashes that reveal, in an incomplete and enigmatic way, the private spaces behind the curtains. This is how Christian Lagata’s installation is presented, which can be seen in the hidden part of the exhibition, almost in the warehouse as a private background canvas on which the rest of the exhibition unfolds. A space of intimacy that can soon become distressing and limited as shown by An Wei's expanded painting The Great Scape, an autobiographical reflection of a time of personal freedom.
A Vis a siV that is also finally a way of retaking that look, distant and so close, skeptical but intimate, that Barcelona maintains with the Madrid scene. A face-to-face that we could qualify as territorial but that has no claim to summarize such a rich and complex context, whose influences go beyond the city itself, but rather to weave complicities, throw winks from a (false) distance, and above all, make visible lines and works that have not found much echo in Barcelona.